Produce Wednesdays are back at PATH

TYLER (KYTX) -- Needy East Texas families got the chance to get free produce thanks to PATH. It's the first time this year PATH has given away fresh produce. CBS 19's Michele Reese explains how folks got up before dawn to get in line.
Some got there as early as 6:00 am. Many have gone without produce through the winter because its an expensive staple to the diet. Now that this program is back up and running, many were eager to get in line.

At 7:00 am, this was PATH's produce distribution line. "I made sure I got a ticket and I wouldn't be at the back of the line."

By 10:00 am, more than 150 people joined Columbus Dewberry and Ronnie Lollar in that line. All to get a box or bag of fresh produce for free. "It helps a lot. Them helping us every week with vegetables and fruits for the kids. It helps a lot."

Carmen Avila is a mother of two. Thanks to PATH, she's bringing home potatoes, tomatoes, and grapefruit to her family. "It's expensive and them giving us all this help its a lot to the needy family. I just thank Path for doing this."

This was the first produce event of the year, and the needy came from all over East Texas. "I live in Neches. I'm forty miles from here but you get some good food," said Nelly Ivins.

PATH says turnout was lower this Wednesday than in December, when the program closed for the winter. "When we left, we were serving 200-250 every Wednesday."

Path expects the numbers to increase once word gets out that produce Wednesdays are back. "We will get more as schools let out."

They invite any needy family to take part. "No qualifications, no ID or anything required just show up and you can have produce."

The produce distribution is open every Wednesday at the East Texas Fairgrounds, as long as the weather is above 40 degrees and not raining.
The East Texas Food Bank makes the produce program possible. They give hundreds of pounds of  produce to PATH for free every year.


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